Firefighters from across Central New York rallied Wednesday, asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would give volunteer firefighters cancer coverage.
Mahlon Irish, who supports the bill, has been a Homer volunteer firefighter for about 43 years. He also became a career firefighter for the Ithaca Fire Department in 1991. Mahlon says he got into it because his father was a firefighter and it's just always something he's loved doing.
But in 2014, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He says his doctors believe it's due to his service.
He and other firefighters in the region are pushing the governor to sign a bill that would give volunteers "gap" coverage for certain cancers, should they be diagnosed.
"It's at least something to give as a benefit to the new members coming in, to say if you protect yourself and keep doing things right and you should get cancer relative to being a firefighter, that there's at least some assistance," said Irish.
The governor said Wednesday he's "favorably disposed" to the bill.